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Fleurieu Regional Aquatic Centre to change pricing following competitive neutrality investigation

Fleurieu Regional Aquatic Centre to change pricing following competitive neutrality investigation
October 12, 2020

Following an investigation which found it had infringed on competitive neutrality legislation, the Fleurieu Regional Aquatic Centre Authority (FRACA) is to restructure its membership pricing,

The investigation was carried out by the Essential Services Commission of SA (ESCOSA) and South Australian Competition Commissioner and related to a complaint made by local gym operators Graham Mowatt (SPA Health Clubs) and Bruce Konings (FIT Goolwa) in 2017.

As reported by the Victor Harbor Times, the FRACA’s provision of membership packages that bundled gym services with pool access was under scrutiny.

Specifically, it was alleged that bundled memberships were being offered at prices below that which local gym operators could provide gym-only facilities.

A report released by the Competition Commissioner in February recommended that FRACA introduce "separate gym-only, recreational pool only and bundled gym services/recreational pool access products".

It was also recommended FRACA introduce a "cost-reflective price that accurately reflects the private sector-equivalent cost of providing a gym-only service".

A FRACA spokesperson said that while the Authority believed their existing pricing was fair and not anti-competitive, they had worked with Centre Managers YMCA to develop a new membership pricing structure.

The spokesperson advised "accordingly, as of 1 January 2021, the weekly price of the bundled all-access membership package will rise from $18.50 to $21.00 per week, and a gym only membership costing $14.50 per week will be introduced.

"Other all-access memberships will increase proportionately related to the standard All Access pricing with the YMCA to notify all members accordingly.

"The Authority and the YMCA remain committed to ensuring the Centre is as affordable as possible in the interests of encouraging community engagement and wellbeing."

Competitive Neutrality Policy requires government entities to apply the principles of "competitive neutrality" to their business activities, ensuring they compete fairly in the market.

As a joint partnership between the City of Victor Harbor and Alexandrina Councils, the FRACA is governed by a Board comprising of independent members and council representatives.

The Centre was recently awarded the South Australia Parks and Leisure Association (PLA) award for Best Regional/Rural Contribution, where its positive social, environmental and economic impact was highlighted.

Highlighting the importance of the Centre was important to the region, the FRACA spokesperson added “the importance of the Centre to the region is highlighted by over 215,000 annual visits and membership numbers continuing to grow year on year, despite COVID-19 enforced closures and restrictions.”

Image: The Fleurieu Regional Aquatic Centre Authority will introduce a "cost-reflective price that accurately reflects the private sector-equivalent cost of providing a gym-only service" at the facility. Courtesy of Fleurieu Regional Aquatic Centre.

Related Articles

14th September 2020 - YMCA-managed Fleurieu Aquatic Centre recognised for excellence in community recreation

2nd March 2020 - Fleurieu Regional Aquatic Centre cited for breaching ‘competitive neutrality’ rules

25th September 2020 - Fitness Australia asserts there is no clear evidence gyms spread COVID-19

7th April 2020 - Two-thirds of the world’s fitness clubs are currently closed

17th February 2020 - Fleurieu Aquatic Centre deficit concerns local councillors

6th November 2019 - Salti floating fitness sessions to be introduced at Fleurieu Aquatic Centre

15th November 2016 - YMCA appointed to manage the Fleurieu Aquatic Centre

26th April 2016 - Fleurieu Regional Aquatic Centre team win leadership award

18th March 2015 - South Australian councils push ahead with $21 million Fleurieu Regional Aquatic Centre plan

7th November 2011 - Wetlands Ecotourism project opens new opportunities for Fleurieu region

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